Riding the hype of Mortal Kombat II into the year 1995, Midway brought out the sequel in Mortal Kombat 3, adding more characters, removing some, and revamping how the game is played. For me, though, MK3 was my least favorite of the original trilogy of games.
My main complaint with the game was the fighting system. It was drastically different from Mortal Kombat II, relying heavily on combos, rushing down your enemy, and really being more in line with what you would expect from competitive fighters. Certainly nothing wrong with that, but for my young brain, I just wanted to beat people up and do fatalities, and that was tough to do.
Also worth nothing, the arcade release of Mortal Kombat 3 was quickly followed up by a re-release: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. This game included omitted characters like Scorpion and Kitana, and my favorite Reptile. It also brought back more levels and balanced some fighters too. It is more often regarded as the better version of the game.
For what it’s worth, Mortal Kombat 3 and all it’s revisions introduced some series staples and fun moments. Brutalities were first introduced here, as well as Animalities, the latter of which I’m alright with not seeing again. While some characters went on to be fan favorites, like Cyrax, Sektor, and Nightwolf, others fell flat, like Stryker and Sheeva. Other small additions like falling through stages mid-fight, and even more stage fatalities were added too.
Lastly, Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 were brought to the home consoles too, but perhaps the best version to play at home is the console exclusive Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Trilogy was another refined version of Ultimate, adding even more characters and balances, making it arguably the best version of the game out there. But it’s only on consoles: arcade fans would be stuck with only Ultimate.
*Played at Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookeield, IL 2018